WASHINGTON — Two experts on amphibious warfare highlighted the need for technological growth in the Navy and Marine Corps during May 18 testimony before the House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee on Capitol Hill, expressing the urgency to provide ships with the proper tools needed to defend against future antagonists.
In his opening remarks, Jesse Sloman, an analyst with expertise in amphibious warfare at the Center for Naval Analyses, a research and development center serving the Department of the Navy and other defense agencies, pointed out the need for Marines to help the Navy with sea control and the changes that must be made for that to occur.
“Potential adversaries have developed new capabilities specifically intended to counter American strengths,” he said. “Those capabilities mean that in order to fully contribute to a campaign against a capable adversary, amphibious forces will need to adopt new concepts of operation, field new equipment or use existing equipment in novel ways.”
A common concern held by the subcommittee was figuring out how to counter anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) bastions and sea mines. Dr. Brad Martin, a senior policy researcher with RAND Corp., said that amphibious vessels themselves are not what will overcome the A2/AD and mine environment.
“Countering A2/AD is going to involve a large component of unmanned vessels or unmanned capabilities,” he said. “That’s a place we should be investing.”
Sloman also cautioned that the Marine Corps could become a “second land army” if it keeps sending personnel out on those kinds of missions.
“That amphibious warfare base drops out of the force,” he said.